R: And today, we are going to talk about -- what are we talking about?
K: We’re talking about domain name searching.
R: Domainers. You want to be a domainer?
K: Well, you’re going to have to be if you’re starting a business online.
R: That’s the truth. You got to get good at finding the perfect piece of internet real estate for you and your children.
K: So Bob, how does one go about finding the perfect domain name for a given project?
R: Well that really depends, Kevin. Hopefully you’ve already done your keyword research at this point, so you know what keywords you are trying to rank for. Now generally what we do is we find a few common keywords amongst our keyword lists that appear over and over again.
K: Could you give me an example?
R: Such as say I was trying to rank for bar stools.
K: Those are a great thing to have for your house.
R: They’re fantastic. And then there were a bunch of different bar stool keywords, such as rich mahogany bar stools and steel bar stools and four-legged bar stools and whatever, things like that. Obviously, the keyword here that’s in combination with all of them is ‘bar stool.” So if you could have barstool.com or barstools.com, that would be the absolute best.
Now generally, when you’re doing keyword research, if you’re doing it right, you’re going to be getting lists of hundreds of different keywords that you’re all going to try and you’re going to go after and there’s going to be a couple different categories of like sub-keywords. So you want to try and figure out. If you can't rank for your or if you can't get your main keyword in there, you want to try and find some of the sub-keywords that you can throw in there or something -- because the whole point is Google likes exact match domains. So they will give you a little bit of a bonus if you’ve got your keywords in the domain. So for instance, if I’ve got a store that sells bar supplies and bar stools is a part of that but so are martini glasses and drink accessories and stuff like that. If I have bar stools in the name, in the domain name, it’s going to be easier for the bar stool terms than it is for the martini glasses and stuff like that, and it’s just kind of how Google works.
So, we try and find the common denominator word that we can throw in there. And we find that you can either -- if you can't find an exact match domain, then you can throw an extra word onto the end of it such as BarStoolStore.com or MyBarStools.com or EBarStools.com or something like that. And we have a couple tools for doing that.
Our favorite tool, our favorite place to go for doing that, if you’re doing it by hand, is NameStation.com. It’s pretty amazing. They will do a ton of different things. First off, they will do a bulk domain searching. So if you want to -- if you’ve got a list of a thousand keywords bold out of Google Keyword tool, it will take 100 keywords at a time and search if they’re available or not. So that sure bit is trying to them one at a time on most of the other websites. Next, it will give you tons of different ideas, as far as throwing other keywords onto the end of it, random words, random nouns, random adjectives, e-commerce related terms and different things like that. So if you’re trying to find to create a domain name, that’s really the place to go.
K: Oh absolutely. Name Station is just wonderful. Now you hit on a few couple things I just want to clarify. The first is that Google absolutely loves exact match domain names. So if your keyword is “Dallas Texas Hotels” and DallasTexasHotels.com is available, that’s the domain for you.
R: That’s it.
K: Furthermore, let’s say your keyword was something like -- let’s say you’re going after Dallas, so you can't get that, but you’re going after all kinds of Dallas Texas Convention related keywords. You might say you might shoot for DallasConvention.com. Now let’s say that’s taken, you could certainly go for ConventionDallas.com. We found that having the words but maybe in the flipped order, still pretty good. Still pretty good for sure.
R: Yeah, very good.
K: Another thing that often comes up is what if I can get my exact keyword match but instead of just running the words next to each other, I separate them with a hyphen. So for example, Dallas-Texas-Hotels.com. These are okay. We found they aren’t as good as the exact match but they are certainly not the worst domains to get.
R: Yeah. SEOMoz did a study of it where I think they found that they’re about 70% as good as the exact match domain without the hyphens.
K: Exactly what you need.
R: Sounds great. Something like that. Was it 70?
K: Oh I’m not -- well it’s -- obviously it’s hard to measure.
R: Yeah. Yeah.
K: But we know that the exact match .com is better. The exact match .net and .org, also good. Not as good as the .com but also good.
R: Right. And better than the hyphenated .com.
R: So hyphenated .com comes in third. If you can get the exact match .net or .org, they come in second, and if you can get the exact match .com, that’s first.
K: That’s what we’ve seen in our own testing as well.
R: Yeah. And then beyond that, you really also would just want to look at sometimes -- you know, if you got a real serious site that you really care about and love, then maybe you’re better off just coming up with a domain that sounds nice. For instance, GangsterProfit.com, we just kind of like the sound of it. It doesn’t really have any keywords in it at all.
K: Yeah. Yeah. Pretty much anyone searching for Gangster Profit already knows how fucking cool we are.
R: Yeah, exactly. So we’re just like, whatever, well this is kind of a labor of love here, we’re just going to kind of try and brand ourselves and we decided to just pick a name that sounds cool. But if you’re making 100 websites and a network and you’re really just trying to rank for as many keywords as you can and these are kind of duplicate sites that, you know, you don’t love on, you’re just trying to make cash off of them and you’re just trying to rank for as much as you can, then that’s where the hyphen/.net, .org, whatever, thing comes into play. So yeah…
K: Yeah, that’s domaining right there.
R: That’s about it. You could put that in the bank.